Collector-Dealer, Lawrence, KS
Nick Vaccaro began collecting and dealing in 19th-century photography in 2009 at age 49. Before that, he spent nearly 25 years as a successful commercial photographer in New York City. One day, he was stopped in his tracks by an old photograph of a little girl.
"It was just a daguerreotype, really beautiful, of a young girl wearing a bonnet," he recalled, "and I just thought it is the most amazing photograph and there’s got to be more of those out there and I want to find them and I want to collect them."
Nick's collection - known for its exceptional quality and beauty - now numbers in the thousands. His main areas of collecting are early American circus life, occupationals, all types of transportation, images revolving around photography as a form of entertainment, and the history of photographers and the photography process.In 2016, NPR affiliate KCUR in Kansas City, MO, profiled Nick to preview the opening of an exhibition he helped create at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures in Kansas City. The online story included several of his images (see slideshow) and a link to the five-minute radio segment.
The exhibition, "Forever Young: Victorian Photographs of Children and Their Toys," featured around 100 of his images and ran from October 8, 2016 - January 15, 2017.
Nick maintains a website called The Silver Canvas, which is both a selling platform and an online gallery with further background on him. It states that both of his parents were artists and that his dad was an Art professor who gave him "a very intensive education in both Art and American History." Nick also sells on eBay under the name nic-o-matic and is an active contributor to the Society's Facebook Group.